What is the life expecantcy of a second Lieutenant in Vietnam?

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During the Vietnam War, and in previous wars fought by the United States Army, such as the Korean War, WWII, WWI, Spanish-American of 1898, etc. Leader's have received some of the highest casualty rates. The US Army, as is (or maybe was, there are a lot of untraditional changes taking place within the traditional armed forces; the armed forces "might" be evolving into something different than the way mankind has had armed forces in the past) all or most of other nations, divided into two groups (During the Vietnam War): Enlisted men and officers. The "private" is entry level into the US Army. The "2nd Lieutenant" is the entry level into the officer corps. In Vietnam most 2LT's were promoted to 1LT almost immediately upon arrival "in country", just as new Privates were almost immediately promoted to PFC (Private First Class) as soon as they landed. Just a little incentive & extra pay for getting shot at.
Since both the Private and the Lieutenant are both new; they don't know how to walk (fast or slow), they don't know where to walk (off the trail, is it a trail?), they are inexperienced in using voice and hand/arm signals in the field, and directing a machingun to fire one way, when maybe the experienced '60 gunner knows where to fire because he was in "contact" here yesterday (before the LT arrived). These are some routine daily examples. And if the LT's wearing his rank, or talking on the radio (PRC-25), or giving hand/arm signals...he might be finished, if they're in a fight. In addition, officers are (or were in Vietnam) trained to be "AGGRESSIVE", lead from the front...add this attitude to the rank, signals and radio, and the clock's really ticking now! In many of the so called, "firefights" of the day, towards the ending years, in every "contact" we had, our officers were amongst or the only casualties. So, to answer your question, his survival was not "normally" measured in days or weeks, it was measured in "the first battle", "CONTACT!" as we called it. If the LT survived his first "contact", and it was a "hot" one, then "he's good to go!" (He'll probably survive).



According to all records, the life expectancy was expected to be 16 minutes.
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